Maintaining the healthy country–healthy people nexus through sociocultural and environmental transformations: challenges for the Wik Aboriginal people of Aurukun, Australia

Maintaining the healthy country–healthy people nexus through sociocultural and environmental transformations: challenges for the Wik Aboriginal people of Aurukun, Australia Journal Article

Australian Geographer

  • Author(s): Green, Donna, Martin, David
  • Published: 2017
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Volume: 48
  • ISBN: 0004-9182

Abstract: This paper examines the potential for multiple co-benefits to arise through re-establishing the connection between Aboriginal people and their lands. The research project was participatory in its design and implementation, and centred on three short but intensive visits to the Kendall River over a period of 4 years. Interviews with and observations of Kendall River people on country provided qualitative information concerning their wish to reconnect with country, not only to transmit key cultural knowledge through the generations, re-socialise their lands and manage them appropriately but also to help them manage the negative consequences of Wik aggregation in the troubled community of Aurukun. Participants reported that returning to and carrying out activities on country, and the family and country planning resulting from those trips, provided a way to counter feelings of disempowerment and despondency arising from living solely in Aurukun. This paper concludes by arguing that activities that re-engage Aboriginal people with country (if not actually returning to live on country) can serve to build cultural resilience in the face of multiple economic, environmental and social challenges, including those arising from life lived largely in communities such as Aurukun, thereby also likely benefiting their physical and psychosocial health and well-being.

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Suggested Citation
Green, Donna, Martin, David, 2017, Maintaining the healthy country–healthy people nexus through sociocultural and environmental transformations: challenges for the Wik Aboriginal people of Aurukun, Australia, Volume:48, Journal Article, viewed 16 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=14303.

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